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Arkansas Democrat Shot

This is a story you may have missed...

The leader of the Arkansas Democratic party was fatally shot yesterday. Bill Gwatney, a car dealer, state senator, and Democratic party chairman, was sitting in the party headquarters in Little Rock when, according to reports, a man came in saying that he wanted to volunteer. When he was refused access to Gwatney's office, he barged in anyway and shot Gwatney three times. The gunman has since been arrested and is named Timothy Dale Johnson. Reports say he had recently lost his job, but no connection has been made between he and Gwatney, except that Johnson owned two cars that had been purchased from Gwatney's dealerships.

These are the kinds of stories that really stick out to me. What could have possessed this man to shoot the leader of the Democratic party of his state? Was he disgruntled at losing his job? Most likely. Was he mentally troubled? Authorities found anti-depressants at his home; but a lot of people are on anti-depressants and don't go around shooting other people.

Barring some deeper, uglier connection between these two men (and time will tell), we're left to speculate that this dispossessed man decided to blame his problems solely on the Democratic party. Gwatney was a Super-Delegate who had pledged his support for Obama after Clinton bowed out of the race. Was this killing an attempt by a desperate man to make his voice heard and exert influence over the coming election?

It is too soon to draw these conclusions, but it is scary all the same.

Not to mention the fact this is another senseless hand-gun related death, in a land that is still looked upon as the Wild West, where people walk into public places and start firing away, almost as a matter of routine, it seems. I don't want to get into my complicated stance on Gun Control, but there has got to be a way to stop this kind of thing from happening.

This tragic incident has ended two lives, and wrecked who knows how many others. It makes my stomach sick to think of all the political organizers and politicians all over the country who now--for the next couple of days at least--will be drinking Pepto-Bismol by the bottle and locking the doors to their offices. Fear is a powerful emotion, maybe the most powerful, and it causes people to act in strange ways.

It's too early to make a call on this incident, I think. We have to wait for more news to come out regarding the connection between Gwatney and his killer, if there was one. But as it is, it looks ugly. Seriously ugly.

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